Who Asked You?! The Woes of Unsolicited Parenting Advice

We’ve all been there. You watch a parent struggling with their unruly kid and you think, “Oh man, you are doing that wrong.” But, at what point should you actually open your mouth and say something, especially if it’s a friend?

A friend recently asked me that question. A friend of her’s asked – openly – what he should do differently to tame his “little monster.”

Friends gave the typical advice:

  • Watch Super Nanny
  • Read “The Strong Willed Child”
  • Use reward charts
  • Be consistent

It was that last piece of advice that seems to be the sticking point with this particular parent. It is apparent that this parent is not sticking to his guns. So, my friend asks, should she be blunt with him and tell him that in order to get his kid to listen and behave, he’s going to have to put more effort in, too?

Luckily, I have some pretty too-the-point blunt brutally-honest friends. One caught me in the act once. I was complaining about how my kids just don’t listen when it’s time to leave. She said, “Well, let’s see… you’ve told them five times that it’s time to go and yet, here you stand, talking to me. If it’s time to go, it’s time to go. YOU need to set the stage and be consistent.” It was a tough thing to hear, but I needed to hear it.

What do you think? When should you speak up and give the parenting advice you know your friends really need to hear?


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Carrie
    Mar 27, 2013 @ 14:19:35

    Oh my – I am so bad at the “time to go one too” – Hubby gets so annoyed at both of us.


  2. Janet Dubac
    Mar 28, 2013 @ 10:03:41

    Oh my! This is also one of my biggest problems as a parent. Calling them once and responding to it immediately seems to be an impossible task for them to do. I have to shout their names several times before they come over. I guess I will have to be tough on this one.. Thanks for sharing!


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